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Kroenkes have ‘no intention of selling’ Arsenal; owners excited by summer transfer plans

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Kroenkes have 'no intention of selling' Arsenal; owners excited by summer transfer plans

Josh Kroenke told Arsenal supporters that Kroenke Sports & Entertainment (KSE) have no intention of selling the club during a fiery fans forum on Thursday.

Kroenke, who sits on the board at Arsenal and is son of 73-year-old owner Stan, joined chief executive Vinai Venkatesham at the fans forum to answer questions on the failed European Super League proposals.

The American came under fierce criticism from supporters during the 30-minute conference call, with some saying they were embarrassed by the club’s actions and others labelleling the decision to join the Super League as a disgrace. 

What has been said?

But when asked if KSE still considered themselves fit and proper owners of Arsenal, Kronke said: “I believe we are fit to carry on in our position as custodians of Arsenal.

“We were put in a very difficult position by forces outside of the club. We have the same plans for summer that we had several weeks ago and I’m still excited about those.

“So I might be met with mistrust, I might be met with skepticism, but over time I hope to establish some sort of relationship with our supporter groups and show them that we are capable of taking our club forward.”

When pressed on when KSE might sell the club and what their exit strategy was, Kroenke added: “I am not willing to answer that question because we have no intention of selling.”

What was the mood like at the forum?

If Josh Kroenke was in any doubt over the level of ill-feeling towards KSE following the past few days, he won’t be anymore.

Arsenal fans made their feelings perfectly clear over how they felt about the club’s ownership and the decisions that have been made.

“From a trust perspective, all of our trust was shredded this week,” accepted Kroenke. “I understand that, which is why I am here today to try and rebuild some sort of relationship with the supporters.

“You have my word. You are going to be seeing more of me. I know the trust has been shredded, but you are going to be seeing me try and rebuild that both now and in the future.”

What else did Kroenke say?



Kroenke apologised for signing up to the Super League and explained why the club took the decision to sign up.

He said: “As this project took shape in a very fast manner, we asked ourselves two key questions. The first question was: what is worse, a Super League or a Super League without Arsenal? That was a very tough one for us to weigh. We decided a Super League without Arsenal was the worst of both those answers.

“The second question we asked ourselves was: what do the fans want? We tried to answer that question in as many ways as possible. We were obviously bound by certain confidentiality aspects of the decision we were thinking about making, and it was a much more complicated answer than we had time to contemplate.

“I think the global fan wants to see Arsenal versus Barcelona as much as possible. I think the European fan wants to see more big matches between top clubs, to be quite frank because their domestic league is so predictable.

“I think from an English fan’s perspective, and this is what was so educating for me, they want to see more big matches. But as one Chelsea supporter wrote on a sign that I saw online the other day, you still want your cold nights in Stoke.

“I think to me that sent a strong message of the English Premier League, football in the UK as a whole and the fan sentiment across England. We got it wrong, and that is why we are here today.

And the Super League costs?

Kroenke confirmed that KSE would cover all the costs incurred by the ill-fated agreement to join the league and then by withdrawing.

“Absolutely,” he replied, when asked the direct question.

There have been reports that the bill for clubs involved could be as much as £8 million, but Arsenal chief executive Venkatesham insisted that wasn’t the case.

“That number of £8m is absolutely miles out,” he said. “It is nowhere near that number.”

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UFC 262 PPV price: How much does it cost to watch Oliveira vs. Chandler?

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UFC 262 date, start time, odds, PPV schedule & card for Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler

The UFC lightweight title is up for grabs Saturday night.

The belt, which was vacated after the retirement of Khabib Nurmagomedov, is on the line as No. 3-ranked Charles Oliveira and No. 4 ranked Michael Chandler at UFC 262.

MORE: Sign up to watch the UFC 262 PPV, exclusively on ESPN+

Chandler is just in his second bout under the UFC banner after spending the majority of his in-ring career with Bellator. His last bout, a first-round TKO over Dan Hooker at UFC 257 in January, earned him Performance of the Night honors.

Oliveira, the UFC vet, is looking to strap on gold for the first time in his MMA career, and it couldn’t have come at a better time: Oliveira enters this weekend’s fight red hot, riding an eight-fight win streak, whether by knockout or tap-out.

The lightweight belt will find a new waist this Saturday night. Here’s what you need to know.

UFC 262 price: How much does Oliveira vs. Chandler cost?

The main card for UFC 262 is available in the U.S. on the ESPN+ subscription service for $69.99 or $89.99. That portion of the event begins at about 10 p.m. ET.

Earlier fights on the undercard are viewable live on ESPN, ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass.

  • Current yearly subscribers can get UFC for $69.99.
  • Current monthly subscribers can get UFC 262 and an upgraded bundle at a discounted rate of $84.99. They can also purchase the event itself for $69.99.
  • New subscribers can get UFC 262 and a yearly subscription for $89.98, which is a savings of more than 30 percent.

Click here to learn about the different pricing and bundling options with the ESPN+ platform.

What channel is UFC 262 on?

  • Early prelims: UFC Fight Pass
  • Prelims: ESPN/ESPN+
  • Main card: ESPN+ (pay-per-view)

Fans will be able to watch the main card of UFC 262 only on ESPN+ PPV with an ESPN+ subscription.

The night is split into three events, per usual: The early preliminaries on UFC Fight Pass, the prelims on ESPN/ESPN+ and the main card on ESPN+ PPV.

What time does Oliveira vs. Chandler start?

  • Early prelims: 6 p.m. ET
  • Prelims: 8 p.m. ET
  • Main card: 10 p.m. ET

The night gets underway at 6 p.m. ET on UFC Fight Pass, with the show switching over to ESPN at 8 p.m. ET for the prelims. 

The main card gets underway at 10 p.m. ET, with the fighters expected to make their ring walks around midnight ET, depending on the length of undercard fights.

UFC 262 fight card

Early prelims

  • Gina Mazany vs. Priscila Cachoeira, women’s flyweights
  • Kevin Aguilar vs. Tucker Lutz, featherweights
  • Christos Giagos vs. Sean Soriano, lightweights

Prelims

  • ​Lando Vannata vs. Mike Grundy, featherweights
  • Andrea Lee vs. Antonina Shevchenko, women’s flyweights
  • Jordan Wright vs. Jamie Pickett, middleweight
  • Ronaldo Souza vs. André Muniz, middleweights

Main card

  • Charles Oliveira vs. Michael Chandler for vacant UFC lightweight championship
  • Matt Schnell vs. Rogério Bontorin, bantamweights
  • Tony Ferguson vs. Beneil Dariush, lightweights
  • Katlyn Chookagian vs. Viviane Araújo, women’s flyweights
  • Shane Burgos vs. Edson Barboza, featherweights

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Marlins’ Jesus Aguilar quite literally tries to steal signs from D-backs’ Carson Kelly

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Marlins' Jesus Aguilar quite literally tries to steal signs from D-backs' Carson Kelly

Caught red-handed.

We know that batters can sometimes take a peek at catcher’s signs to try to get as much information as they can. It’s just part of baseball, after all. But Jesús Aguilar took it to the next level Thursday.

With Diamondbacks catcher Carson Kelly reaching first base, Aguilar decided to take a peak at the catcher’s signs — by lifting up Kelly’s wrist cheat-sheet.

MORE: Padres fan starts brawl after knocking out Rockies fan

Kelly responds with an incredulous, “What are you doing, man?”

Kelly’s disapproval to Aguilar taking a peek results in a hilarious reaction from Aguilar, looking like a kid who was caught with his hand in the cookie jar before breakfast.

Aguilar is one of baseball’s more fun personalities, so there’s nothing to read into here. But it’s not the first time that Aguilar has tried to steal signs. About a month ago, Aguilar stole an index card straight out of Dom Smith’s back pocket during a game against the Mets — presumably a defensive positioning card that players carry with them on the field.

The Marlins would go on to win the game 5-1.

If Aguilar keeps this up, he might be able to score a role in an “Ocean’s 11” reboot. 

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NASCAR lineup at Dover: Starting order, pole for Sunday’s race without qualifying

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NASCAR lineup at Dover: Starting order, pole for Sunday's race without qualifying

The starting lineup for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Dover International Speedway was set by applying the statistical formula NASCAR is using for the majority of the series’ races in 2021.

Drivers’ starting positions for the Drydene 400 (2 p.m. ET; FS1, TSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) were based on four factors:

  • Driver’s finishing position from the previous race (25 percent)
  • Car owner’s finishing position from the previous race (25 percent)
  • Team owner points ranking (35 percent)
  • Fastest lap from the previous race (15 percent)

NASCAR is conducting qualifying and practice for just eight Cup Series races in the 2021 season. The next qualifying session will take place prior to the May 23 event at Circuit of the Americas, a road course outside Austin, Texas.

Below is the starting lineup, which was set without qualifying, for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race on Dover’s 1-mile oval.

MORE: Watch Sunday’s NASCAR race live with fuboTV (free 7-day trial)

Who won the pole for the NASCAR race at Dover?

Martin Truex Jr. was tabbed to lead the field to green for the Drydene 400 based on the mathematical formula. Truex is coming off his third win of the season, a dominating performance at Darlington last Sunday. He is the only driver to win more than once in the Cup Series in 2021.

Truex also gained the No. 1 pit stall, which is a valuable piece of real estate at Dover because track position is highly important on the Monster Mile.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is second in the series point standings to teammate Denny Hamlin, who will start in the second position Sunday. William Byron, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano and Chris Buescher received the other top-10 lineup spots.

NASCAR starting lineup at Dover

NASCAR used a mathematical formula to set the starting lineup for Sunday’s race at Dover International Speedway, the Drydene 400, without qualifying.

Start pos. Driver Car No. Team
1 Martin Truex Jr. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing
2 Denny Hamlin 11 Joe Gibbs Racing
3 William Byron 24 Hendrick Motorsports
4 Kyle Larson 5 Hendrick Motorsports
5 Kevin Harvick 4 Stewart-Haas Racing
6 Kyle Busch 18 Joe Gibbs Racing
7 Ryan Blaney 12 Team Penske
8 Chase Elliott 9 Hendrick Motorsports
9 Joey Logano 22 Team Penske
10 Chris Buescher 17 Roush Fenway Racing
11 Christopher Bell 20 Joe Gibbs Racing
12 Tyler Reddick 8 Richard Childress Racing
13 Ryan Newman 6 Roush Fenway Racing
14 Austin Dillon 3 Richard Childress Racing
15 Brad Keselowski 2 Team Penske
16 Alex Bowman 48 Hendrick Motorsports
17 Chase Briscoe 14 Stewart-Haas Racing
18 Matt DiBenedetto 21 Wood Brothers Racing
19 Ross Chastain 42 Chip Ganassi Racing
20 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing
21 Michael McDowell 34 Front Row Motorsports
22 Bubba Wallace 23 23XI Racing
23 Erik Jones 43 Richard Petty Motorsports
24 Daniel Suarez 99 Trackhouse Racing Team
25 Ryan Preece 37 JTG Daugherty Racing
26 Corey LaJoie 7 Spire Motorsports
27 Anthony Alfredo 38 Front Row Motorsports
28 Kurt Busch 1 Chip Ganassi Racing
29 Justin Haley 77 Spire Motorsports
30 Cole Custer 41 Stewart-Haas Racing
31 BJ McLeod 78 Live Fast Motorsports
32 Aric Almirola 10 Stewart-Haas Racing
33 James Davison 15 Rick Ware Racing
34 Cody Ware 51 Petty Ware Racing
35 Quin Houff 00 StarCom Racing
36 Garrett Smithley 53 Rick Ware Racing
37 Josh Bilicki 52 Rick Ware Racing

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